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State grant could speed up ballot counting in next election

This year every county in Pennsylvania received state grant money to help with the election.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. — Ballots are pouring into drop boxes across Monroe County as the 2022 midterm election looms. 

Kim Nelson-Griffin of East Stroudsburg plans to vote by mail. 

"It's because of convenience. I work, so it works for me. It would be if we had the day off, a national holiday, then I can do that," Nelson-Griffin said. 

Others aren't even sure if they'll vote.

"I'm not prepared to vote; I really don't know who I'm voting for. I think doing my due diligence and helping myself to increase my ability to understand what's going on. What kind of politicians are out there," Dannis Dublin of East Stroudsburg said. 

More than 15,000 absentee and mail-in ballots have been sent out in Monroe County.

Sara May-Silfee is the county's director of elections and voter registration.

She says this year, every county in Pennsylvania received state grant money to help with the election.

"I did purchase another high-speed scanner to help, hopefully, make this process go a lot faster, and we can get finished on Election day," May-Silfee said. 

One of the stipulations for receiving the money is to begin counting mail-in ballots by 7 a.m. on election day and continue uninterrupted until all the votes are counted.

"We have to now canvas open the ballots and count the ballots on election day," said May-Silfee. "We are not allowed to release the results of the mail-in obviously until after 8 o'clock when the polls close."

May-Silfee's hopeful all the votes here in Monroe County will be counted by election night. 

Voters say there are a lot of important races, so they encourage others to get out and vote. 

"Local voting is definitely important because you have the opportunity to have a voice, and you can't have a voice if you don't get out there and make yourself heard by voting," Nelson-Griffin said. 

A big reminder to mail-in voters make sure to put your ballot in the secrecy envelope and sign and date the envelope on the back because if you don't, it will not be counted.

For more information on the 2022 Midterm elections, click here.


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